The third dispensation (C on the above chart) is called by the apostle Paul “the ages to come” in Eph. 2: 6,7 (NASB): “[God] raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (7) so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Peter describes this dispensation as, “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Pet. 3:13 NASB) “New heavens” is a symbolic term describing the spiritual phase of Christ’s kingdom that comes down from God out of heaven and will rule over mankind during this dispensation. (Rev. 21:1) “New earth” is a symbolic terms describing the earthly phase of Christ’s kingdom that will replace all of the nations of this world and will operate during the Millennial Age to bring mankind back into harmony with God.
The first age of this dispensation is the Millennial Age. One thousand years in length, it is time period of Christ’s earthy kingdom. The purpose of the kingdom is to release mankind from the condemnation of sin and death and bring mankind back to physical, mental and moral perfection. Those who reach this perfection will be back in harmony with God as earthly sons and will live forever on a restored perfect earth. Please see our page on Millennial Age for more information on this kingdom.
Under “The Ages to Come,” the rebellion against God and His principles of truth and righteousness will come to an end. Satan will be bound for 1000 years during the Millennial Age so that he cannot deceive the nations and Christ’s earthly kingdom can teach man righteousness. (Rev. 20:2,3) Then Satan will be released for a little season to test the perfection of restored man. (Rev. 20:7,8) At the end of the test, Satan and all mankind who fail the test will be destroyed forever. (Rev. 20:9,10)
The remainder of mankind will live forever on a restored perfect earth. (Matt. 25:34) They will live forever because having learned righteousness and having evil cleansed from their heart in Christ’s kingdom, they will have no desire to disobey God. “But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. (22) All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live.” (Ezek. 18:21,22 NASB)
Now all of God’s creation, spiritual and earthly, will be in harmony with Him and His righteous principles. The Scriptures indicate that the remainder of “The Ages to Come” might involve the creation of additional beings to populate the vast universe that God and His son created so long ago. “This will be written for the generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.” (Psa. 102:18 NASB)
For additional information please see our related booklets and videos below.
Christ’s 1000 Year Kingdom
The Times of Restitution of All Things
The Hope and Resurrection of the Dead
Kingdom of God
Way of Holiness
After Armageddon God’s Kingdom